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WellPoint caps surgery costs to save pension fund without hurting health

Bloomberg, June 25, 2013
The nation's largest pension fund and health insurer WellPoint Inc. (WLP) cut medical costs 19 percent by capping the price of some surgeries, in the latest sign payers are taking a tougher line against rising hospital claims. The California Public Employees Retirement System saved $5.5 million under a pilot project it started with WellPoint in 2011, according to a study released by the Indianapolis-based insurer yesterday at a Baltimore health conference. Retirees proved at least as healthy as those who didn't opt for the lower-cost procedures, WellPoint said.